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  • Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

    Greetings all,

    I have been thinking about creating some wilderness survival kits with the final cost coming in around $25 (US dollars). I have discussed the idea for sometime and I wanted to see what items you guys think should be in a small survival kit. I do not want to put any poduct ideas into anyone heads rather just tell me the things that you would like to have in a wilderness survival kit.

    Your feedback would be helpful in designing my product.

    Regards,

    Tangowrangler

  • #2
    Re: Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

    Things I find usefull when out in the field:
    -Gerber (or some type of multitool/knife)
    -Matches/lighter
    -Meal Ready to Eat (MRE)
    -550 cord (many uses from medical to building shelter)
    -compass
    -signalling device (flare, ect)
    -toilet paper/wet whipes
    -poncho and some type of blanket
    __________________
    |TG|||---DoRo---||

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    • #3
      Re: Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

      I keep a lanyard with a photon, ferroceum (sp) rod and one of those knives that looks like a key that is a multitool on a length of paracord with one of those 75 cent whistle thingies that hold the ends of the paracord together.

      I carry a basic first aid kit with aleve and tylenol, roll of tums (I been married for a while), bandaids, the basic creams, and tweezers.

      Just in case kit has mirror and magnifying glass (the credit card shaped ones), rolled some duct tape around a nail, two of those eye hole screw things, about two feet of thin brass wire, sewing needles, a button or two, two packs of boullion, pack or two of instant coffee, pyrethrin based insect repellent in a mini pump I used from some hand sanitizer (looking for the wipes to make it more compact), fishing line wound around a bobbin and some hooks and weights, a mini lighter of some sort (I like to play around with the loadout and currently I am using a permanent match in there), a kitchen trash bag bound with a few rubber bands (maybe a few other things in there) kept in a ziploc freezer bag with a spare in there.

      I used to do the altoids tin thing, but the coffee and pump of insect spray take up too much space (why I want to find pyrethrin wipes).

      On my wrist I wear a suunto compass woven into a paracord bracelet. I'll sometimes carry a button compass too, but I just don't trust them enough. I also have taken to carrying a small stuff sack style bag I had from my summer bag which I stitched a little pocket onto that it can be stuffed into. Can use a small carabiner to attach it to belt loop or something if you do not want it in your pocket.

      Those are just basics for a light and pocket sized survival kit, however I never go anywhere without my daypack handy with more stuff in it.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        There are many people out there who simply do not know what to use or how to use it if the need arises. These people often times do not have the right mentality to think before a situation arises.

        I have posts on a lot of forums to understand what other people use in their kits and I have my own kit which I have used for years. I have a solid understanding of what should be in the kit and for $25 dollars they will ge a solid product.

        I appreciate the feedback and this along with my research on other forums as well personal experience I will come up with something that meets that needs of people and convienent to carry.

        Regards,

        Tangowrangler

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        • #5
          Re: Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

          Definitely one of those flint firestarter thingies. I have had matches of various types and they never cease to fail when I need them. The last batch of strike-anywhere matches I had in a sealed waterproof container ended up damp and worthless when the time came and I actually NEEDED them.

          I think a big thing for a survival kit would be shelf-life. I don't frequently need mine, but when I do its components need to work.

          Whatever you do come up with, let me know! I'll likely be interested in buying some.
          Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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          • #6
            Re: Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

            The kit sort of depends on the location you're dealing with. Regardless, repeating what Doro9 said, a good multi-tool is simply required. Period. Assuming North American-type forests, I'd suggest including a collapsible axe (if the conditions are more tropical, then a machete is recommended, though you aren't really going to make that collapsible). Unfortunately, finding a reliable collapsing axe for a $25 kit might be a challenge. Either way, an axe can be invaluable and if it's collapsible and easy to carry? Godsend. After that, a small sewing kit is always a good idea. One other thing I haven't seen suggested explicitly that might be a good idea is an alcohol-based cleanser (flammable in a pinch, to boot).

            And if possible? A collapsible metal container (maybe pop can in size) with a separate insulating cover. Never really seen a kit that included something like that but it seems like it would be a relatively simple and cheap item to make. If you don't have something more...ideal for boiling or carrying a heated liquid in, I could see it being desirable. Bah, quickly getting over the $25 limit. Ah well. :P

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            • #7
              Re: Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

              I agree with you both about a multi tool and possibly an axe. The cost is an issue and the result would have to be a second kit that is an upgrade from the first. The second kit would be closer to $50 but contain more items.

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              • #8
                Re: Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

                A good knife... I think that's one of the most important things. And I don't think you could get a good knife anywhere around 25 bucks.
                With a little more effort you can use a knife as an axe and honestly... how often would you REALLY need an axe?
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

                  Originally posted by Apophis View Post
                  Definitely one of those flint firestarter thingies. I have had matches of various types and they never cease to fail when I need them. The last batch of strike-anywhere matches I had in a sealed waterproof container ended up damp and worthless when the time came and I actually NEEDED them.
                  Dip the heads in candle wax to waterproof them.

                  As for my suggestion, my favorite emergency firestarter is a small piece of 20 ought steel wool and two batteries from my headlamp. It's quick, effective and a really easy way to get the fire started when you have other things to do.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Re: Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

                    Originally posted by Buckets View Post
                    Dip the heads in candle wax to waterproof them.

                    As for my suggestion, my favorite emergency firestarter is a small piece of 20 ought steel wool and two batteries from my headlamp. It's quick, effective and a really easy way to get the fire started when you have other things to do.
                    I was thinking of something like this.

                    I like this one too.

                    Anyone have any experience with these?
                    Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

                      There is one on the second link you posted Apo, the Spark-Lite. I had one for many years, especially during deployment. Really easy to use, you dont need a knife or hard surface to strike. All you have to do is spin the wheel much like a Zippo. These are the best. Even if you lose all your gear you can still make a fire with just your fingers :) Here is my list. Provided from my military training and experience:

                      -Gerber is a must
                      -Spark-Lite
                      -At least 3 MRE's
                      -550 Cord If you use it, be sure to take the white string "guts" out. If you dont, the cord will stretch and if you used it to hold up your roof it will sag. With the guts out, the cord doesn't stretch. Win!
                      -compass
                      -Signal Mirror
                      -Handi Wipes are the best invention ever
                      -Military Ponco Can be used as a poncho or a shelter with the 550 cord you bought because Dredge told you too :)
                      -Wrist Mounted GPS this little beauty is a life saver.
                      -Safety Light

                      [unit][squadl][command2]

                      KnyghtMare ~You could always tell the person holding the gun to your head you would like to play on a different server...

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                      • #12
                        Re: Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

                        Water purifcation tablets and one of these magnesium firestarters are the basics.

                        |

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                        • #13
                          Re: Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

                          Originally posted by Warlab View Post
                          Water purifcation tablets and one of these magnesium firestarters are the basics.
                          ^ this

                          Us Michigan boys do it old school, Good knife, Compass, Cord, fishing line/hooks, possibly some boullion or granola bars and what warlab posted above....simple...but anyone who knows survival would be fine.
                          "Everyone makes fun of us rednecks with our big trucks and all our guns........until the zombie apocalypse"

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                          • #14
                            Re: Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

                            A good knife goes without saying and should not be included in a survival kit. That is, in my opinion, totally a preference thing and far too expensive to boot. Maybe including a scalpel or xacto blade in the kit, but I don't feel a knife or multitool are part of the conversation beyond indicating you don't need to be out there if you do not carry one. Those ferroceum (flint) fire starters are the bomb, however, you must practice with them in a simulated environment before trusting it. Once you know how to do it, fire is a breeze. Yeah I can start a fire with a vaseline covered cotton ball, but what do you do when you lose those or run out? Scary how few people know how to do it. Scout store here sells a mini one for 2 bucks which I keep as a minimum.

                            I would not carry an axe in the wild, just too dang heavy, and a good knife will cover that anyway. If I were planning on settling down and live off the grid in a yurt, that would be a different story. Again, that would not be part of a basic emergency survival kit anyway. To me, a survival kit is just the basic things to make life a bit easier if you are lost off the beaten path.

                            Gerber, my favorite knife brand, just want to second that. They make the Bear Grylls survival knife which I would have bought had it not been made in china. Very clever and handy little package. It also is partially serrated and I prefer a full blade. The multi tool has a serrated blade.
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Re: Requesting your feedback for a wilderness survival kit

                              I see a lot of people suggesting MREs. The problem that I have with this is that its supposed to be a wilderness survival pack, which says two things to me:
                              1. small enough to carry in pocket, small pouch or tied to belt. if this is a survival kit, its something backpackers are going to want to be able to take without losing pack space or adding too much weight (any backpacker will tell you that every single inch and ounce counts). Its also something that needs to be portable, recognizable and easy to access if you have to ditch your gear.
                              2. Bare essentials to survive. Which means the following: W.F.S.F.R. - Water, Food, Shelter, Fire, Rescue.

                              So heres my breakdown for the kit that I use personally:
                              -Pocketknife. High durability steel with half-serrated blade.
                              -Flint Rod (with or without magnesium bar..this is that "firestarter thing" that most people have been talking about).
                              -15 feet 550 paracord.
                              -BRIGHTLY COLORED Nylon Poncho
                              -Signal Mirror
                              -Lensatic Compass
                              -"Emergency Handkerchief"

                              Now, my explanation:
                              -The knife is obvious. Cut, carve, shape, etc.
                              -The flint rod, also obvious. Starts fire.
                              -15 feet of paracord is more than enough for just about anything. Fishing line, stringing a tent, setting a snare, tying a spearloop, tying a lashing, securing equipment, making a tourniquet, etc. Of course you wouldnt be able to do this all at once, but if you're trying to survive, comfort isnt exactly priority one.
                              -Brightly colored poncho: bright colors can be seen from the air or a far distance. Colors that dont occur in nature are best: pink, neon blue, yellow, orange. It will also serve to keep the elements off of you and combined with the paracord can be used as a tent, can be used to secure a broken bone and can also be used to gather water for storage or transport.
                              -Signal Mirror is obvious. Can also be used in an emergency for cutting and firestarting.
                              -Lensatic compass: why lensatic? more than basic navigation. One of the main problems with people being lost is that they STAY lost because regardless of whether they know what direction they're facing, they wind up walking in circles. A lensatic compass can set you on a straight line path and keep you going in that direction.
                              -The "emergency handkerchief" is something I just actually bought today at a store in hartford. It's an orange 1'x1' square of cloth (about the size of a standard bandana) that has lots of valuable survival information printed on it. Basic first aid, how to make a charcoal and sand filter, knots, etc. It could also be used as a sweat wick, bandage, splint, tourniquet, and as a signal device.

                              Now, those things take care of everything except food. If you're going deep enough into the wilderness that this kit might actually come into play, you're probably going to know how to find your own food by gather, hunt, or fish. If you dont, theres no amount of food that you could pack with this gear to keep you alive for more than a day or two. Any experienced backpacker will tell you that a novice in the woods will panic and eat as often as they can or eat simply out of hunger. You could pack 3 MREs or 20 with this and a novice camper/backpacker is going to mow through them too fast to matter and then be stuck and starving when they run out. The key thing here is that this is for wilderness survival. A surivalist is going to get their own food and the tools provided here can get that to them.

                              Biggest perk: This whole setup would roughly be the size of a hamburger and weigh about 1 pound if packed smartly, which means it could be pocketed, neck-slung, or tied to a belt.

                              things I intentionally left out:
                              -water tablets/water purifier: tablets dont always work and run out too quick. a purifier is too bulky and too expensive. better off with a running water source (never drink stagnant water), a tee shirt and sand to filter it through.
                              -MREs: huge, bulky, too much excess crap (you DONT NEED napkins or tabasco to survive)
                              -First Aid Gear (band aids, alcohol, handi-wipes): cuts and scrapes can be washed and covered temporarily with the stuff included or scraps of clothing. Alcohol and handi wipes are limited in their useful qualities, take up too much space, and run out too quickly. Besides, your primary goal if you have to use this kit shouldnt be cleaning the bacteria out of your scraped elbow with alcohol, it should be washing it off, bandaging it (if needed) and getting OUT of a survival situation before it becomes badly infected.

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